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Mrazek back at practice with Hurricanes

Goalie getting closer to returning; has missed past four games with concussion @NHLdotcom

Petr Mrazek was back at practice with the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday and the goalie is getting closer to returning to play after missing four games with a concussion.

"That's the first step in getting him back, and he looked pretty good," coach Rod Brind'Amour said after practice. "Hopefully we'll have a good report tomorrow on how he did, get him up to speed as fast as we can and get him into a game."

Carolina next plays at the New York Islanders on Saturday (1 p.m. ET; ESPN+, MSG+, FS-CR, NHL.TV). The Hurricanes (35-25-5) trail the Islanders (35-23-8) by three points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Mrazek and goalie James Reimer (lower body) were injured against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Feb. 22. Emergency backup David Ayres entered the game in the second period and made eight saves in the 6-3 win.

Carolina is 0-3-1 in the four games Mrazek and Reimer have missed; Anton Forsberg and Alex Nedeljkovic have started twice each during that span. Nedeljkovic made 28 saves in a 4-1 loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday.

The Hurricanes are hoping Reimer returns to practice sometime this weekend, general manager Don Waddell said Tuesday.

Mrazek is 20-16-2 with a 2.71 goals-against average, .904 save percentage and three shutouts in 39 games (37 starts) this season; Reimer is 14-6-2 with a 2.66 GAA, .914 save percentage and three shutouts in 25 games (24 starts).

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